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Air New Zealand Announces 70 Jobs To Go To Fiji

Air New Zealand Announces 70 Jobs To Go To Fiji

Air New Zealand management have decided to go ahead with the proposal to outsource most of its finance department clerical work to Fiji.

About 70 clerical jobs in Air NZ's finance business area, now called Financial Shared Services, are to go offshore to Fiji from January 2007 where the company can source low-cost labour.

The union representing the finance workers says members have been in a constant state of consultation and restructuring for years, and they have become demoralised by the lack of response from the company to their endless submissions.

Service and Food Workers Union regional secretary Jill Ovens says Air NZ management bombards employees with requests for their comments and feedback, but then the company pursues a single - minded "vision" in spite of what employees submit.

"Air NZ corporate management is driven by ideology. The focus is to secure a low-paid workforce who are passive and compliant. If the outsourcing is a failure, it will be a huge cost to the company. But they will have succeeded in de - unionising a whole section of their workforce, so they probably think it is worth the risk."

Ms Ovens says it is likely that more jobs in Finance will go over the next 18 months due to further restructuring. The jobs that will be left will be mostly managerial positions related to the management of the contract with the outsource provider.

"We, the public, are the majority shareholders in Air NZ through the Government's 80% shareholding. If corporate management get what they want, then our national airline will soon consist of a group of well - paid corporate managers whose job will be to manage third-party contractors.

The company will also be announcing its decision next week [subs note: Monday 2nd October] on whether it will be contracting out the Air New Zealand ground - staff at airports. If this contracting out goes ahead, this will mean more than a thousand jobs will be shed by the company to contractors who will be looking to make a profit out of cutting the wages and conditions of ground-staff employees.

The SFWU says there is no pressing reason to reduce staffing costs. Air NZ announced a net profit of $96 million last month. The chairman of the Board, John Palmer, was reported as saying that the profit was "a respectable result when measured against the operational environment for airlines generally". Air NZ has purchased new aircraft and is expanding its long-haul destinations.

"There is no crisis in Air NZ," Ms Ovens says.

At the same time as the profit announcement was made, Chief Executive Rob Fyfe was reported as saying that the airline was not looking at further personnel reductions to cut costs.


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